Stock vs stalk

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Stock and stalk are two words that are pronounced very similarly, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of stock and stalk, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Stock may be used as a noun to refer to 1.) the merchandise in a store or warehouse 2.) farm animals 3.) financial shares in a company 4.) liquid that is used as a gravy or soup base obtained by boiling animal bones or vegetables 5.) the source of breeding or ancestry 6.) a certain breed of sweet-smelling flower 7.) the butt of a firing arm. Stock may be used as an adjective to denote something that is kept as merchandise, or to describe something that is common and hackneyed, such as a stereotypical character in a story. Stock may be used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, to mean to keep a supply of merchandise on hand for distribution, or to gather supplies. Related words are stocks, stocked, stocking, stocker. The word stock is derived from the Old English word stocc which means trunk or post.

Stalk may be used as a noun to mean the main stem of a plant. When used as a verb, stalk means to follow or pursue someone or something in a stealthy manner. It may also mean to stride with purpose and strength. The crime of stalking involves following and harassing someone who does not want the attention. Such crimes are difficult to prosecute and often involve the implementation of a protective order through the courts, forcing the stalker to desist or be arrested. Related words are stalks, stalked, stalking, stalker. The word stalk is derived from the Old English word ending -stealcian, which means to walk in a wary fashion.


Stocks faded at the start of trade Thursday, despite some strong earnings-related moves by names including Oracle (ORCL) and Apogee Enterprises (APOG).Did (Investors Business Daily)

Ten West Virginia state parks waters were stocked with nearly 2,000 pounds of catchable-sized channel catfish the first week of June as part of a West Virginia Division of Natural Resources stocking program designed to enhance fishing opportunities for individuals and families at state parks. (The Fayette Tribune)

The flower stalk has been growing daily — think Jack and the Beanstalk here, so that it is now 25 to 30 feet tall. (The Denton Record-Chronicle)

“Ordinary programs for finding lost phones or fitness trackers can also be used by abusers to stalk partners.” (The Daily Telegraph)